ING: Middle-aged Brits hitting 'Freedom Day' younger

08 April 2006
Helped by the ten-year boom in house prices, more Britons are discarding the shackles of a mortgage and dependent children at a younger age than ever before, according to ING Direct.

The 'Freedom Day Report' suggests that 3.5 million 40 to 65 year-olds consider themselves to be free of the aforementioned common financial constraints and such affluent mid-lifers own assets equivalent to nearly £400,000 each.

This is a marked difference from the experience of their parents' generation, many of whom had retired before 'Freedom Day' was reached.

According to the survey, a third chose to reward themselves for the achievement by buying new properties or expensive cars, or taking long-awaited holidays.

Lindsay Sinclair, ING Direct's CEO, commented: "It's great to think that economic prosperity has introduced millions of Britons to a whole new way of life, a pre-retirement period where they can enjoy greater leisure time and pursue their dreams."

Ms Sinclair dismissed the notion that property prices would continue the increases experienced over the last decade, and encouraged the next generation to look at a variety of options to achieve their own financial independence.

"You can't rely solely on increasing property prices to fund your future," she warned.

"Future generations need to bear this in mind, be realistic about their financial prospects and ensure that they have sufficient savings and investments in place to see them through to financial freedom as well."

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